Why are women’s magazines so confusing? Wanna know how to lose those stubborn love handles? Or would you rather learn how to understand how to love yourself? Would you like to try this 30 day squat challenge, or learn how to accept your body? How would you like to be perceived? As an object that needs to be tweaked and sculpted to perfection? Or as an individual who radiates self-awareness in the fact that a confident woman trumps those who strive to try turn themselves into Vogue models? What would you like to learn how to do? And more importantly, what would you do to achieve it? Eat 700 calories a day? Or eat everything you want?
Confused yet? I certainly am.
Have you picked up a Cosmo recently? Or perhaps a copy of your latest LouLou or Elle? Each cover permeates the promise of self-confidence and self-validation that lure the reader in at the checkout. However, when the pages start being flipped vigorously to reveal their opinions on everything from fashion to health, the ideas and advice begin to conflict with one another.
Why should I try these fifty intense sex positions when I want to be a conservative female? Why should I learn the “four things to never say to a guy” when I should feel empowered by voicing my genuine opinions? Who are you to make me question my very being like this?
Although these magazines are published to establish a certain level of clout within fashion and lifestyle trends, they seem to present conflicting ideologies towards what one should strive for their real self to be.
So how do we sift through this dangerous path of do’s and dont’s?
Unfortunately, I do not have the answer to this question, but I can tell you this much. Follow what speaks to you the most. It doesn’t matter what the “norm” is, create your own normality. If you feel happiest at ten pounds lighter or six hair shades darker, go for it. If you’re happy with yourself exactly as you are, don’t feel pressured to change.
Find what speaks to you the most.
Sure, I will still find myself indulging in a flare jean or two here and there, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I will feed into each trend and life suggestion. It is about acknowledging all beliefs and values and using these magazines to build our own perspectives on life, love, and womanhood. At twenty-seven we may pick up a Cosmopolitan and find value in something we didn’t at eighteen. Despite the large span of topics, we can use the articles to become better conversationalists, although we may not necessarily agree with them.
All in all, don’t be scared to pick up a few mags at your drugstore whilst browsing for eyeliner and shampoo, simply keep in mind that you can ultimately control what the real “take away messages” are.
Feature Image via Cosmopolitan.